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LONGEVITY THROUGH HIKING STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROGER DUBLIN

I

am a volunteer trail supervisor for the New York–New Jersey Trail Conference. Now in its 99th year, the Trail Conference has more than 2,000 volunteers and maintains over 2,150 miles of public trails in the New

York–New Jersey metropolitan area. When I became a supervisor two years ago, one of the first things I noticed was that I was among the youngest people in our regional meetings. I was 61 at the time. Another thing I noticed was how quickly I made new friends there. I began hiking with other people more frequently. These new friends and I shared many qualities: a love of nature and the outdoors; the need to give back; and the endurance to go out on a trail maintenance hike carrying tools such as saws, pruners, slippers, crowbars, and hammers—in addition to the usual knapsack and water. As the volunteer engagement manager for the Trail Conference, Kendra Baumer attends multiple meetings per month with numerous trail supervisors, and she can attest to the unique energy of this community. “I’ve been at several volunteer meetings where I’ve heard it said, ‘Hiking and working on trails must be the elixir of life—just look around the room!’” she told me. Kendra also reminded me about Robert Ward, who received the Trail Conference’s dedicated service award last spring at the age of 91. Robert served the Trail Conference since 1950 in a variety of roles, including trail supervisor and Queens Trails Council chair. He retired in November after 69 years of service.

32 / Rivertown Magazine January 2020

Profile for Rivertown Magazine

Rivertown Magazine January 2020  

Rivertown Magazine is Rockland County’s #1 local print magazine, published monthly by Moon Media Group, LLC. With a readership of over 100,0...

Rivertown Magazine January 2020  

Rivertown Magazine is Rockland County’s #1 local print magazine, published monthly by Moon Media Group, LLC. With a readership of over 100,0...